Your resume or CV is intended to market your skills and accomplishments, so it needs to impress hirers. Some people find it hard to throw their modesty out the window and highlight what they have achieved in their careers. Other professionals embellish their resumes because they don’t know how to sell their strengths and successes. These professionals oftentimes make the mistake of exaggerating the truth to appear highly qualified.You may have recently read about several high-profile cases of professionals lying about their credentials. James Frey lied about his book A Million Little Pieces being autobiographical; Radioshack CEO David Edmondson fabricated his academic record on his resume; and Raytheon CEO William H. Swanson recently received a pay reduction after it was revealed that he had copied large portions of his popular management book, Swanson’s Unwritten Rules of Management. The public outing of these fabrications have forever tarnished what positive achievements these individuals may have made in their careers.
Chief executives are placed in their positions through reputation and word-of-mouth referrals, which is why background checks are sometimes not run during the hiring process. Employers expect executives to have passed background checks as they rose through the corporate ranks. When discovered, embellishments and outright lies can negatively affect both one’s personal career, as well as the company’s performance and reputation.
Follow the cardinal rule: Don’t lie on your resume. If you misrepresent your accomplishments on your resume, you should remove this information. If a hirer discovers your fabrications, your hard work and dedication can quickly be overshadowed by embarrassment. Being caught in a lie may not only cost you your job, but it can also permanently tarnish your professional reputation and ability to progress in your career.